Three Durham College alumni nominated for 2018 Premier’s Awards

Annual awards celebrate outstanding college graduates

Oshawa, Ont. – Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce that, in recognition of their outstanding career success related to their college experience and the significant contributions they have made to their community, three of its alumni have been nominated for Colleges Ontario’s 2018 Premier’s Awards.

Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann, who graduated from DC in 1998 from DC’s Registered Nursing program, draws on her passion for nursing and advocacy in her role as chief executive officer of Grandview Children’s Centre, the only children’s treatment centre in Durham Region. There she has championed its unprecedented growth and expanded its service offerings, while also giving back to the community. She has sat on and led both provincial and national committees focusing on children’s rehabilitation, has used her expertise to help develop Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy and has worked in direct care and senior-leadership roles at St. Michael’s Hospital and Lakeridge Health Oshawa. She is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the Health Services category.

Manjula Selvarajah, a 2014 graduate of the Journalism – Print and Broadcast program, works as a technology columnist and associate producer for Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC Radio. There she has appeared on and produced a variety of shows including Metro Morning and Big City Small World. She has also presented on the Live and Learn and Fresh Air shows. Manjula uses her training and voice to help the Tamil community, leveraging media platforms to tell their stories. She co-hosted one of the few English shows on Canadian Tamil television, Crossroads on Tamil Vision International, where she moderated panels on issues that affected Tamil Canadians and has blogged on She is nominated in the Recent Graduate category.

As chief executive officer (CEO) of Bird Mechanical Ltd., Brandon Bird, who graduated from DC in 2012 as a Level 3 Plumber Apprentice, is continuing the company’s three generations of excellence. Since taking over in 2016 as its youngest CEO, he has generated $30 million in sales revenue while overseeing a team of 80, 60 of which are tradespeople. Through strategic expansion and service offerings, the company has worked on projects ranging from $100,000 to $20 million; its clients include the Hospital for Sick Children and Cadillac Fairview. Brandon also chairs DC’s Mechanical Techniques Program Advisory Committee and serves on the Education Committee for the Mechanical Contractors Association of Toronto. He is nominated for a Premier’s Award in the newly-created Apprenticeship category.

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s nominees,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “All three have used the skills they learned at DC to build successful careers for themselves, while also giving back to the communities where they live and work, representing the college on the provincial stage.”

This year’s Premier’s Award winners will be announced during a gala reception on Monday, November 26 in Toronto.


About Durham College

At Durham College (DC), the student experience comes first. With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby and a learning site in Pickering, the college offers more than 12,000 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 140 full-time and eight apprenticeship programs in a number of different disciplines, enabling them to develop the skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market. The college is also set to launch its first four-year degree program, the Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management, in September 2018.

The Oshawa campus features the state-of-the art Student Services building and will soon feature the Centre for Collaborative Education, a legacy project tied to DC’s 50th anniversary in 2017. The new facility will bring together local, Indigenous and global communities, providing a new home for several of the college’s most innovative and ground-breaking programs.

The Whitby campus features the award-winning W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food prepared by students in the college’s culinary programs.

For more information, visit or call 905.721.2000.

Media contact:

Meghan Ney
Communications and Marketing
905.721.2000 ext. 2197